(bought to you by FromDC2Iowa.blogspot.com*)
[And see the related, "Guns Do Kill -- 30,000 a Year; Just Americans Toasting Toast," January 10, 2011; "Second Amendment, Second Thoughts; Presenting, and Responding to, a Blog Entry's Critics," January 17, 2011.]
Today [Jan. 24] Jared L. Loughner found himself in court for his January 8 attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, an attack that took the lives of six others and left her with severe brain injury. Marc Lacey, "Suspect Pleads Not Guilty in Tucson Shooting," New York Times, January 25, 2011.
America continues its struggle to find an explanation for such an act.
Meanwhile, Members of Congress struggle to find a "date" for the President's "State of the Union" address tomorrow night [Jan. 25], sitting with someone of the opposite party in their effort to find a symbolic way of distancing themselves from the two parties' hostile political bickering that some believe may have contributed to the fact Ms. Giffords will not be among them that evening.
The concern lingers that some talk shows' vitriol, thrown in the face of the President and the Democratic Party, day after day, hour after hour, may have played a role in the actions of Loughner and others.
It needs to be emphasized that there is not, as yet, any evidence of which I am aware that Loughner ever listened to or watched Glenn Beck. And clearly Loughner had a lot more going on in his head than broadcasting's bile -- enough so that his "insanity" defense seems plausible and may work.
But for those who are not Glenn Beck followers, a little taste of what Beck said on his June 9, 2010, show may be useful in getting a little more specific sense of the verbal environment in which Loughner -- and the rest of us, sane and insane, armed and unarmed -- now live.
With credit to Media Matters for America and Reader Supported News, here is Glenn Beck in his own words (followed by a video excerpt from the show):
In every single walk of life -- you want to know why TV doesn't reflect you? You want to know why Washington doesn't reflect you? Because they don't understand, from the radical revolutionaries . . . to the Tea Party movements.Here's the video.
Just because you in Washington and you who are so out of touch with life, in the media, just because you don't believe in anything doesn't mean nobody else does. We do. You know why you're confused by this show? It's because I believe in something. You don't.
Tea parties believe in small government. We believe in returning to the principles of our Founding Fathers. We respect them. We revere them. . . .
I will stand against you and so will millions of others. We believe in something. You in the media and most in Washington don't. The radicals that you and Washington have co-opted and brought in wearing sheep's clothing . . ..
You've been using them? They believe in communism. They believe and have called for a revolution. You're going to have to shoot them in the head. But warning, they may shoot you.
They are dangerous because they believe. Karl Marx is their George Washington. You will never change their mind. And if they feel you have lied to them -- they're revolutionaries! Nancy Pelosi, those are the people you should be worried about.
Can't stand to watch all of it? Start at 5:20 into the piece; "You're going to have to shoot them in the head," comes at about 5:30. But the buildup regarding why you ought to shoot them in the head comes earlier.
Prefer to read it? This video excerpt and a transcript of it are available here. A transcript of Beck's entire June 9, 2010, show is also available.
In case you're wondering, apparently this meets the FCC's interpretation of the Congressional mandate that broadcasters are to operate "in the public interest, convenience and necessity."
* Why do I put this blog ID at the top of the entry, when you know full well what blog you're reading? Because there are a number of Internet sites that, for whatever reason, simply take the blog entries of others and reproduce them as their own without crediting the source. I don't mind the flattering attention, but would appreciate acknowledgment as the source -- even if I have to embed it myself.
-- Nicholas Johnson